Home > 2008 elections, Montana, Tech > Wait, what?

Wait, what?

I haven’t been paying much attention to Montana’s AG race. I probably should. I missed this, from around a week ago.

One of the Republican candidates runs SETI@home. He’s now being mocked for being an alien hunter.

Seriously? You’re mocking someone for running a program that helps analyze radio signals? This isn’t some guy running around looking for UFOs and touting abduction stories. He’s donating spare computing power to a cause that’s unlikely to succeed, but hardly something to disparage.

Not only that, he’s been doing that since 1999, when the project started. While it hasn’t succeeded in locating an ETI signals, it was a demonstration of a large distributed computing project, the first of its kind. Now we have ones like Folding@home and Einstein@home, which do uncontroversial and useful work using the same or similar architecture as what was developed for SETI@home. They pioneered those kinds of projects, in other words.

I can see thinking SETI is a waste of time, but mocking someone for running SETI@home makes you a moron.

Categories: 2008 elections, Montana, Tech
  1. Fate
    May 16, 2008 at 9:55 am

    SETI@home also made a pretty sweet screen saver. Even with a complete lack of understanding of what SETI and SETI@home do, it had to at least have been clear that HE doesn’t spend his free time doing anything SETI, it is his COMPUTERS free time. I thought, “wow, thats weird of the Democrats to be such ignorant bastards, even in Montana.” Then I saw it was just one of those bat shit crazies like the Republicans that have been attacking McCain.

  2. May 18, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I ran SETI myself for a while, but it slowed down my computer too much.

    Carl Sagan said at one point that they had encountered some signals that were very curious indeed, but were not repeated, so they had to be ignored. For myself, I thought it akin to searching for a particular grain of sand on a California beach, but they had set up a sifting technique that at least had an outside shot. Lightning might have struck.

    Hard to imagine we are alone in this universe, on one hand, and on the other to accept that we will ever be able to overcome the immense distances between stars and galaxies, given that we cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Or is that warped thinking?

  3. May 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Makes sense to me.

  4. May 20, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Oh hell – I was teasing Cece over at Netroots one day about putting up a picture that looked like a penis (it was a drawing of a mushroom). The word “penis” came up on the screen as “*****”. Apparently the vice cops are on watch over there. I teased her about not being able to write the word “penis”, and she said it was a family forum. Apparently families don’t have any members with penises. Anyway, I said “pen is mightier”, slipping the word penis in again. She wrote “than the sword”, not at all getting it.

    Just as you did not get my comment about “warped” thinking, as “warp” is the term used on Star Trek for traveling faster than the speed of light.

    If I have to explain my humor, it ain’t funny. I know that.

  1. May 16, 2008 at 6:27 am

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